Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yuma's Lutes Casino boasts eclectic interior

Interior of Lutes Casino
Lutes Casino in Old Town Yuma is an interesting place to wile away a few hours if you’re interested in old posters and other memorabilia. The interior is crammed floor to ceiling with pictures and posters; some items hang from the ceiling. It is, as their website, describes the place, “interesting junk.”

Items on the wall include an autographed photograph of actor Walter Brennan, pool players and nude bikers; well, they weren't really nude --they were wearing shoes and socks.

The casino isn’t a casino in the normal use of the word, in that it doesn’t have poker tables or slot machines, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t at some time in its long history. It does have a couple of pool tables and lays claim to being the oldest pool hall in Arizona. Lutes also lays claim to being the oldest domino hall in the state, with tables at the front where patrons can play this board game.

The building it occupies was constructed in 1901 when it was used as a general store on the ground floor and a hotel on the second floor. Around 1920 the building was turned into the Casino Billiard Parlor. Ownership changed a few times over the next fdew decades, with it being acquired by the Lute family in the 1940s with the previous owner using it to settle a gambling debt.

Lutes has a bar and restaurant that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, a few other sandwiches and salads, and some quesadillas and tacos. Their “especial,” as the menu calls it, is a cheeseburger and wiener combo drenched in hot sauce.

Jazz lovers take note: Lutes sponsors a series of Friday night jazz concerts two Friday a month during the summer. Performances by local musicians are popular; seating  is limited.

Lutes is located at 224 Main Street.

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